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Worried about my heart

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Old 12-17-2011, 06:23 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
Musashin HB User
Worried about my heart

Hi guys,

I suppose I could use this as an introduction too as I registered here today. My name's Paul, I'm almost 25 years old, not much else to say really aside from hello.

This will probably seem really tame compared to some of the other questions, but I am really worried about it.

I've done a bit of research here and there about nutrition, exercise, and general health, but like most young people (who aren't doctors) I'm pretty clueless when it comes to medicine. I'll give a quick overview of my health, trying to be as honest as possible.

I'm about 6"3 and around 95kg. I'm not noticeably overweight, but I don't have abs either.

I smoked for about 5 years but stopped earlier this year and am now on electronic cigarettes (which I do still get nicotine from).

In two weeks it will have been a year since I last had tobacco, I drink very rarely (maybe two or three times a year). I do occasionally smoke cannabis (once or twice a week). It's not officially medicinal (and wouldn't ever get recommended for medicinal reasons here) but I use it to help me sleep as I've had problems doing so for as long as I can remember. I have never gone near any other recreational drugs and have no plans to.

I do drink way too much soft drink, but apart from that my diet isn't too bad, I eat my veggies and try to stay away from fried food whenever I can. This was a different story about two years ago, I travelled a lot for work and usually had fast food for breakfast and lunch.
I do try and get my exercise daily, which is usually a 30-45 minute walk with the dog in the mornings. I do skip this more often than I should though.

I do seem to have heart problems in the family, both my grandfathers and one grandmother died from heart attacks, and my father had a pretty serious one when he was 52.

I don't usually do anything that is really going to stress my heart out, but a few days ago I did go skydiving.


So, now that you know more about me than my own mother does (sorry for the wall of text), I might try and get to the point.

I've been worried about my heart for a while now, but I've never gone to see my GP about it.
I have an iPhone app that checks heart rate, I know it's a cheap and dirty solution but it seems pretty accurate when I test it alongside calculating it myself.
Usually when resting it fluctuates a lot, I've recorded it as low as 45-50bpm while resting, and as high as 100bpm (also while resting).
Occasionally for no apparent reason my heartbeat will feel really strong and fast, I haven't measured it while this is happening, and I don't feel any pain, but it's certainly noticeable.
Last night, admittedly after smoking a small amount of cannabis, my heartbeat felt really fast and strong, and I felt a strong radiant heat coming from my chest. I had a very light dull pain up closer to my shoulder.
I measured it twice, the first reading was 185bpm and the second 192bpm. Again, I'm not sure on the accuracy of this app I'm using but I could certainly feel it racing, I really felt like I was going to die.
I believe my maximum heart rate is 196bpm (based on age), so that's only 4 bpm off completely flat out.
I knew that I'd stress myself into making it beat faster if I worried about it, so I laid down, and tried my best to think about anything I could that would calm me down and take my mind off it. I was incredibly worried though so that didn't work too well.
I don't believe it was the drug that caused it as I've tested it before and it's never caused my heartbeat to rise more than 20bpm, but for safety's sake I won't be going anywhere near it again until I know exactly what's going on.

So this drama last night finally woke me up a bit and prompted me to come on here to see if I can get any more light shed on the situation, I've been really worried about it for ages but still haven't gone to see my GP about it.
I'll probably end up doing that in the next few days as I have paperwork to sort out first.

Could this have been related to the skydive I did a few days ago? I just tested it again then and it seems fine at 64 bpm, but beats do seem a bit more irregular than normal.
I'm stressing out pretty badly because of this, even more so after last night. Should I be this worried? Is there a specific medical condition that would cause this? And is there something else I can do to stop it from happening again?

I'm sure I've forgotten to add something somewhere, if I have feel free to ask whatever you need to know. I'm really hoping I can put my mind more at ease about the whole thing before I have time to see my GP about it.


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Old 12-18-2011, 05:19 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 86
Jimmysyd HB UserJimmysyd HB User
Re: Worried about my heart

Well first thing, my opinion, get off the weed. if you have sleep issues there are plenty of other healthy natural things you can try.

Second, go to the doctor who will at least run some blood tests and also do an EKG to check your heart.

When you talk about irregular heartbeats you have certainly been in A-Fib (over 100 beat per minute at rest), and you could be getting some PAC's and PVC's (which can be normal even in a healthy heart.) Only further investigation will determine what you have.

Either way you need to see a doctor and have some tests done as standard.

Cut out the drugs, cut out any Caffeine, and get yourself checked out.

I too had a wake up call, you only get the one life, don't go wasting it on foolish decisions.

I saw a Cardiologist a couple of days ago, and was so nervous that I had my heart rhythm skipping and double beating all over the place due to stress, and had blood pressure the highest it ever been while sitting in his office like a wreck thinking the worse. And even then he did not seem concerned by what he was hearing and seeing.

So my best bet is too relax and get it looked at by a doctor.

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Musashin (12-19-2011)
Old 12-18-2011, 01:34 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Hampton, GA USA
Posts: 386
Fizzickle HB UserFizzickle HB UserFizzickle HB UserFizzickle HB User
Re: Worried about my heart

Atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter will send your heart rate soaring.

I have paroxysmal afib and take medicine to control it. Anything that irritates the heart tends to set afib off. In my case, it's usually drinking too much carbonated soda. Nicotine will certainly do it. I have no experience, but would guess cannabis whether medical or not, would have the same effect.

Stress is a factor at times for me. I'd guess that if you going to have afib from skydiving stress that it would happen at the time.

In my humble layman's opinion, you need to see a cardiologist and stay away from heart irritants.

Last edited by Fizzickle; 12-18-2011 at 01:43 PM.

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Musashin (12-19-2011)
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